It’s that time of year again! After the craziness of the holidays, I’m always so ready for a reset. Sugar Free January is an amazing tool to help me get my sugar cravings back to a normal level. It isn’t about restricting or controlling. SFJ is about setting a tone for the year and helping your body detox from the holiday sugar indulgence. There’s no shame in eating extra sugar around the holidays! But it may not be the best idea for your health to eat that way all year long.
WHAT ARE THE RULES FOR A SUGAR FREE JANUARY?
The beautiful thing about Sugar Free January is the ability to adapt it to fit your personal needs. There’s no judging about your choices, and no shaming if you make mistakes! You can decide just how strict you want to be.
My Personal Sugar Free January 2020 Rules:
Since I’m breastfeeding Anya ATM, I’m not going to be super strict this year. My ground rules are:
- Cut out all highly processed forms of sugar. Honey, maple syrup, sucanat, palm sugar, etc. are okay in small quantities.
- Do not sweeten drinks (cocoa, matcha, tea, coffee, etc.).
- The challenge starts on January 2nd and ends February 1st.
If You Want to Join In, You Can Totally Make Your Own Rules!
For example, you may want to cut out only the super processed forms of sugar (this is what I’m doing this year) such as white sugar, brown sugar, powdered sugar, etc. Even if you still consume honey or maple syrup you’ll probably be eating a lot healthier since you’ll have to cook the majority of the food yourself (instead of buying prepackaged cookies, for example).
Or you could cut out half of the sugar in every recipe you make. You could also just go sugar free until the weekend. Or have 2 desserts a week instead of 7, or 5 instead of 7, or 1 a day instead of 3. You could just cut out all candy and pop. Or, if you already eat a really low sugar diet, you might want to try cutting out the more sugary fruits such as bananas for 30 days. Make this challenge your own!
A Word of Warning: This is Not For the Faint of Heart!
If you’re going to be super strict and cut all forms of sugar, including honey, maple syrup, and dried fruit, you might have sugar withdrawals. I know I did back when I did my Whole30 and when I’ve done Sugar Free January in the past. But it was so worth it since it showed me how addicted to sugar I was and how it’s in EVERYTHING. Just be prepared for it to be HARD for the first week. It gets better, I promise!
So, Are You Up For the Challenge?
I highly encourage you to leave a comment below with your own personal ground rules. Getting it out in writing really helps to cement it in your mind and make a commitment. At least that’s what I’ve found.
Resources to Help You Get Through Sugar Free January:
- 50+ Sugar Free Meal Ideas + A Free Sugar Free Meal Plan (I wrote this a couple of years ago and put a lot of work into it!)
- 10 Tips to Tame Your Sweet Tooth (A post I wrote for Pioneer Woman after my experience with Sugar Free January)
- 25 Sugar Free Snack Ideas – Having sugar free snacks on hand is SO important!
- Lindsay from Pinch of Yum’s master post about Sugar Free January (Lots of great info, and a wonderful community of fellow SFJ followers!)
Here are some sugar free recipes on Buttered Side Up:
SUGAR FREE BREAKFAST IDEAS:
- Savory Dutch Baby Puff Pancake
- Roasted Veggie Breakfast Bowls
- Savory Waffles
- KETO Crepes
- Egg Muffin Cups – Make sure your bacon is sugar free!
- 3 healthy Kefir Smoothie Recipes
SUGAR FREE LUNCH IDEAS:
- Creamy Roasted Garlic Mushroom Soup
- Creamy Potato and Bacon Soup
- Roasted Cauliflower and Garlic Soup
- Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
- Ricotta Avocado Toast
- Cucumber Tomato Avocado Salad
- BLT Salad – make sure your bacon is sugar free!
- Arugula, Avocado, and Blood Orange Salad with an Orange Vinaigrette
SUGAR FREE DINNER IDEAS:
- Stuffed Pepper Casserole
- One-Pot Sausage and Veggie Rice
- How to Cook a Roast Beef Dinner
- Caramelized Onion, Bacon, and Arugula Mac & Cheese
- Salmon En Papillote
- Chicken and Biscuit Pot Pie
- Creamy Leek, Bacon, and Asparagus Tagliatelle
- Pizza Stuffed Mushrooms
- Chicken Wild Rice Stuffing Casserole
- Ground Beef Gimbap
- Shepherd’s Pie
- Healthier Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Casserole
- Instant Pot Beef Stew
- Sour Cream Chicken Enchilada Skillet
- KETO Shrimp and Asparagus Alfredo
SUGAR FREE SIDES:
- Sour Cream and Dill Mashed Potatoes
- Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese from Scratch
- Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese